Fellow Travelers: Book summary and reviews of Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon

Fellow Travelers

A Novel

by Thomas Mallon

Fellow Travelers
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2007
    368 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Washington, D.C., in the early 1950s: a world of bare-knuckled ideology, hard drinking, and secret dossiers, dominated by such outsized characters as Richard Nixon, Drew Pearson, Perle Mesta, and Joe McCarthy. Into this fevered city steps Timothy Laughlin, a recent Fordham graduate and devout Catholic eager to join the crusade against Communism. A chance encounter with a handsome, profligate State Department official, Hawkins Fuller, leads to Tim’s first job in D.C. and–after Fuller’s advances–his first love affair. Now, as McCarthy mounts an increasingly desperate bid for power and internal investigations focus on “sexual subversives” in the government, Tim and Fuller find it ever more dangerous to navigate their double lives. Drawn into a maelstrom of deceit and intrigue, and clinging to the friendship of a beautiful young woman named Mary Johnson, Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions, his love for God, and his love for Fuller–an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal.

Moving between the Senate Office Building and the Washington Evening Star, the diplomatic world of Foggy Bottom and NATO’s front line in Europe, Fellow Travelers is energized by high political drama, unexpected humor, and genuine heartbreak. It is Thomas Mallon’s most accomplished and daring novel to date.

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Media Reviews

"An ambitious, absorbing caper that's smartly paced, tough-minded and infused with emotional depth." - Kirkus.

"Mallon offers an intricate, fluent and divergent perspective on a D.C. rife with backstabbing and power grabbing." - PW.

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Author Information

Thomas Mallon Author Biography

Photo: William Bodenschatz

Thomas Mallon is the author of a number of novels including Henry and Clara, DeweyDefeats Truman, Two Moons; In Fact and Bandbox, a collection of essays; and the nonfiction books Stolen Words, A Book of One's Own, and Mrs. Paine's Garage. A frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and other magazines, and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at George Washington University, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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